The Daily GAB: September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010 By Andy Amsler

The Daily GAB is the clipping service of the USGLC

Today in Washington – Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Vice President Biden meets with Senator Carl Levin.
President Obama hosts a discussion on the economy in Des Moines, Iowa
Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, at the Department of State.

The Daily GAB

The three D’s of “smart power” came together on one stage yesterday as Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, Secretary of the Treasury Geithner, USAID Administrator Shah, and Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes spoke about the Administration’s new development policy at the USGLC conference.  Secretary Clinton opened the discussion by saying “development is an integral part of America’s national security policy, and it is part of an integrated approach that includes development, diplomacy, and defense.”  Commenting on the economic benefits of development, Geither said, “If you can make it more likely that a woman – a farmer in Bolivia or in Mali or in India can get title to her land and is able to borrow to go out and buy better seeds and fertilizer, she’ll be more likely to be able to educate her children, grow a business, and create a market for the exports of our country.”

For a complete wrap-up of the conference, including blogs with highlights from each panel, stay tuned to

USGLC in the News
A new approach to our national security (General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.) and Co-Chair, USGLC’s Veterans for Smart Power – The Daily Caller)

When world leaders arrived in New York last week for meetings on the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations, the President said that our “national security strategy recognizes development as not only a moral imperative, but a strategic and economic imperative.”  Those of us with military backgrounds agree. Three years ago, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates caught Washington off-guard when he talked about this very subject and called for a rethinking of national security, a shift toward a closer working relationship between our military and civilian-led foreign policy professionals. The Secretary’s call to recast America’s power is the right way to go.  As our military enters a new phase of operations in Iraq, and a new focus on the complexity of Afghanistan, it is time to call upon all three of the main tools of statecraft — defense, diplomacy and development — to complete these missions.

Beau Biden: Focus must be on public diplomacy (Nicole Gaudiano – Wilmington News Journal)

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden promoted the importance of diplomacy and development aid as part of a national security strategy in a speech Tuesday to several hundred national security and foreign policy experts.  Biden based his comments to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition conference on his experiences in Iraq last year as a captain with the Delaware National Guard and as a Justice Department legal adviser in post-war Kosovo.

Gates Calls Development Integral to Security (Jim Garamone – American Forces Press Service)

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was part of a high-powered panel discussion of the new U.S. global development policy here today.  “Development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers,” Gates said during the discussion.  Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Rajiv Shah, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, told a meeting of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition that focused development is an integral part of American foreign and security policies.

Clinton, Gates blast Congress on Iraq funding cuts (Mary Beth Sheridan – The Washington Post)

“The Congress took a huge whack at the budget the State Department submitted for this process of transition. And it is one of these cases where, having invested an enormous amount of money [in the war], we are now arguing about a tiny amount of money, in terms of bringing this to a successful conclusion,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told an audience at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a non-profit group.  Gates added that the situation reminded him of the last scene in the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” — in which the U.S. government, having spent billions against the Soviet military in Afghanistan, then refused to put up a million dollars for Afghan schools.

U.S. Development Community Welcomes Obama Policy (Laura Rozen – Politico)

The U.S. development community is pronouncing itself “thrilled” with the Obama administration’s recently unveiled new development policy.  “Put simply, the United States is changing the way we do business,” Obama told the U.N. Millennium Development Goals conference in New York last week.

Clinton warns Pakistan to make the rich pay up (Anne Gearan – Associated Press)

Speaking Tuesday at the nonprofit U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Clinton said that Pakistan is now drafting new tax policies.  Obama signed new development blueprints last week that he said favor nations that commit to democracy and economic revival. He said development should no longer be measured by how much money or medicine is delivered, but by the extent to which the U.S. helps countries build up themselves.

Clinton Presses Pakistan to Raise Taxes on the Wealthy (Josh Rogin – The Cable)

“This is one of my pet peeves: Countries that will not tax their elites but expect us to come in and help them serve their people are just not going to get the kind of help from us that they have been getting,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience Tuesday at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition conference.

Poll: Strong military support for diplomacy, development (Kevin Baron – Stars and Stripes)

U.S. military officers strongly support increasing U.S. diplomacy and development spending, according to a new poll released Tuesday by a Washington advocacy group.  If that’s not enough to convince anyone, on Tuesday afternoon the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition meeting will back up it up with a heavy-hitting a lineup of Obama administration cabinet members Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah.

Poll: Military Officers Say Use Diplomacy, Aid to Shore Up U.S. National Security (Fox News)

Nearly 90 percent of active and retired military officers say diplomacy and development are at least partly helpful to achieve U.S. national security objectives as opposed to just a strong military presence, a new poll out Monday shows.  The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition also found among the 606 active duty and retired officers surveyed that 83 percent also think humanitarian efforts such as food assistance and health, education and economic development lend to an effective strategy.

Gates, Clinton Join Others Railing Against Congress Cuts (Tejinder Singh – All Headline News)

Congress came under attack for not loosening purse strings for development work on Tuesday as top Obama administration officials discussed U.S. global development policy. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told an audience at a U.S. Global Leadership Coalition event that Congress refused to release money for peace time efforts in Iraq. Clinton noted as the U.S. is withdrawing bulk of its forces from Iraq, “the military saves $15 billion. We ask for, you know, about one-tenth of that, and that’s considered too much, even though there’s savings accruing to our transitioning to the civilian side.”

Smart Power

Opinion: Can Obama reform the aid business? (Robert I. Rotberg – Global Post)

The most important part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s bold enunciation of a new global development policy at the U.N. last week was his promise to measure the effectiveness of aid by outputs, not inputs.  Aid experts have long emphasized results, not the amount of aid dollars spent — in other words the mileage of roads built, or the quantity of vaccines delivered — as the true determinants of foreign assistance effectiveness.

Streamlining the Millennium Development Goals for More Impact (Aron Cramer and Chad Bolick – Huffington Post)

With five years to go, it is clear that the MDGs have played a powerful catalytic role in reducing poverty, by providing a powerful (and previously absent) way to measure progress on many of the most important development challenges. It is equally clear that there is no overarching roadmap to get to the finish line.  In our view, three things need to be done in the final five years to optimize the impact of the Goals: (1) Develop a more holistic approach to achieving the goals, (2) Create better measurement of progress, and (3) Get business more involved.

Foreign Policy

In flood-ravaged Pakistan, no sign of American aid (David Ignatius – The Washington Post)

The U.S. military has been working hard to provide flood assistance, but most of that is invisible to Pakistanis. They read about American drone attacks but not about helicopters bringing food supplies. That lack of recognition upsets U.S. officials, but they haven’t been able to change it.  On a day’s tour of the northern flood zone, I saw posters for Turkish, British and other European relief groups, but not one sign of American help. That’s a missed opportunity. These people still need help desperately, and they will remember those who visibly provided it.